Clonmore N.S.


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Anti-Bullying Policy

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CLONMORE NATIONAL SCHOOL

ANTI-BULLYING POLICY

In accordance with the requirements of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 and the code of behaviour guidelines issued by the NEWB, the Board of Management of Clonmore National School has adopted the following anti- bullying policy within the framework of the school’s overall code of behaviour. This policy fully complies with the requirements of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools which were published in September 2013.

2. The Board of Management recognises the very serious nature of bullying and the negative impact that it can have on the lives of pupils and is therefore fully committed to the following key principles of best practice in preventing and tackling bullying behaviour:

A positive school culture and climate which-
is welcoming of difference and diversity and is based on inclusivity;
encourages pupils to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour in a non-threatening environment; and
promotes respectful relationships across the school community
Effective leadership;
A school-wide approach;
A shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact;
Implementation of education and prevention strategies (including awareness raising measures) that-
build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils; and
explicitly address the issues of cyber-bullying and identity-based bullying including in particular, homophobic and transphobic bullying.
Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils;
Supports for staff;
Consistent recording, investigation and follow up of bullying behaviour (including use of established intervention strategies); and
On-going evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy.


3. In accordance with the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools bullying is defined as follows:

Bullying is unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical conducted, by an individual or group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time.

The following types of bullying behaviour are included in the definition of bullying:

deliberate exclusion, malicious gossip and other forms of relational bullying,
cyber-bullying and
identity-based bullying such as homophobic bullying, racist bullying, bullying based on a person’s membership of the Traveller community and bullying of those with disabilities or special educational needs.

Isolated or once-off incidents of intentional negative behaviour, including a once-off offensive or hurtful text message or other private messaging, do not fall within the definition of bullying and should be dealt with, as appropriate, in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour.

However, in the context of this policy, placing a once-off offensive or hurtful public message, image or statement on a social network site or other public forum where that message, image or statement can be viewed and/or repeated by other people will be regarded as bullying behaviour.

Negative behaviour that does not meet this definition of bullying will be dealt with in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour.



4. The relevant teacher(s) for investigating and dealing with bullying is (are) as follows:
The class teachers,
Mr. Brian Kenny, Principal,
Ms. Mary Madden, Deputy Principal.
The relevant L.S.R.T. teachers will also be involved with the specific class.





5. The education and prevention strategies (including strategies specifically aimed at cyber- bullying, homophobic and transphobic bullying) that will be used by the school are as follows:
Model respectful behaviour to all members of the school community at all times.
Explicitly teach pupils what respectful language and respectful behaviour looks like, acts like, sounds like and feels like in class and around the school.
Display key respect messages in classrooms and around the school and involve pupils in the development of these messages.
‘Catch them being good’ – notice and acknowledge desired respectful behaviour by providing positive attention.
Consistently tackle the use of discriminatory and derogatory language in the school – this includes homophobic and racist language and language that is belittling of pupils with a disability or SEN.
Give constructive feedback to pupils when respectful behaviour and respectful language are absent.
Have a system of encouragement and rewards to promote desired behaviour and compliance with the school rules and routines.
Actively promote the right of every member of the school community to be safe and secure in school.
Highlight and explicitly teach school rules in pupil friendly language in the classroom and in common areas.
As self-esteem is a major factor in determining behaviour, we will, through both our curricular and extra-curricular programmes, provide pupils with opportunities to develop a positive sense of self-worth.
The SPHE curriculum, including the Walk Tall and Stay Safe programmes, is used throughout the school to support the anti-bullying policy.
Teachers respond sensitively to pupils who disclose incidents of bullying.
The school’s anti-bullying policy is discussed regularly with pupils.
All disclosed incidents of bullying are investigated.
Members of the BOM are familiar with the school’s policy on bullying and promote it on a repeated basis among staff, parents and pupils through the roles of the Board Members in the school, by reviewing the policy with input from all stakeholders in the School Community, by example and by promoting and improving communication and supporting the Principal in ensuring the Policy is adhered to.
Parents contribute to and support the school’s policy on bullying by encouraging positive behaviour both at home and at school, by being vigilant for signs and symptoms that their child is being bullied or is bullying others, by communicating concerns to the school.
Cyber-Bullying requires access to technology. Pupils are supervised at all times when working with technology in the school. Pupils do not have access to their smartphones during the day.
The Catholic Ethos of the school encourages positive attitudes to inclusivity and equality. This permeates all aspects of the school day and throughout the teaching of the curriculum.
Insofar as is reasonably practicable school activities will be supervised and monitored at all times, with particular emphasis on those occasions when situations of bullying are more likely to occur, such as play time and dismissal time.
The school will hold a Friendship Week annually, during which we will promote co-operation, sharing and friendship between all the children. Topics will include making friends, maintaining friendships, resolving conflict and responsibilities towards one another.
We promote a culture of caring and teaching by example in our school. Older pupils are given responsibility to watch out for younger pupils, to advise them on appropriate behaviours and to show them a good example at all times.
We will hold a Bullying Awareness Week early in every new school year. Lessons and events will be held to increase knowledge of what bullying is and what impact it can have.


6. The school’s procedures for investigation, follow-up and recording of bullying behaviour and the established intervention strategies used by the school for dealing with cases of bullying behaviour are as follows:

Procedures for investigating and dealing with bullying:
The class teacher will have primary responsibility for investigating alleged cases of bullying. However, dependent on the seriousness of the actions involved, the class teacher may decide to involve the Deputy Principal/Principal in accordance with our Code of Behaviour.
Where an alleged incident of bullying involves students from a number of classes, the class teacher will liaise with the Deputy Principal to carry out the investigation. The primary aim will be to resolve any issues and to restore, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved.
Non-teaching staff such as secretaries, special needs assistants (SNAs), caretakers, cleaners must be encouraged to report any incidents of bullying behaviour witnessed by them, or mentioned to them, to the relevant teacher.
Parents and pupils are required to co-operate with any investigation and assist the school in resolving any issues and restoring, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved as quickly as possible.
It is very important that all involved (including each set of pupils and parents) understand the above approach from the outset.
Teachers should take a calm, unemotional problem-solving approach when dealing with incidents of alleged bullying behaviour reported by pupils, staff or parents.
When analysing incidents of bullying behaviour, the relevant teacher should seek answers to questions of what, where, when, who and why. This should be done in a calm manner, setting an example in dealing effectively with a conflict in a non-aggressive manner.
If a group is involved, each member should be interviewed individually at first. Thereafter, all those involved should be met as a group. At the group meeting, each member should be asked for his/her account of what happened to ensure that everyone in the group is clear about each other’s statements.
Each member of a group should be supported through the possible pressures that they may face from the other members of the group after interview by the teacher.
It may also be appropriate or helpful to ask those involved to write down their account of the incident(s).
In cases where it has been determined by the relevant teacher that bullying behaviour has occurred, the parents of the parties involved should be contacted at an early stage to inform them of the matter and explain the actions being taken (by reference to the school policy). The school should give parents an opportunity of discussing ways in which they can reinforce or support the actions being taken by the school and the supports for their pupils.
Where the relevant teacher has determined that a pupil has been engaged in bullying behaviour, it should be made clear to him/her how he/she is in breach of the school’s anti-bullying policy and efforts should be made to try to get him/her to see the situation from the perspective of the pupil being bullied.
It must also be made clear to all involved (each set of pupils and parents) that in any situation where disciplinary sanctions are required, this is a private matter between the pupil being disciplined, his or her parents and the school.
Follow-up meetings with the relevant parties involved should be arranged separately with a view to possibly bringing them together at a later date if the pupil who has been bullied is ready and agreeable. This can have a therapeutic effect.
In cases where the relevant teacher considers that the bullying behaviour has not been adequately and appropriately addressed within 20 school days after he/she has determined that bullying behaviour has occurred, it must be recorded by the relevant teacher in a recording template.


2.Procedures for recording bullying behaviour:
The class teacher will use his/her professional judgement in relation to the records to be kept of all reports of bullying, the actions taken and any discussions with those involved regarding same. If it is established by the class teacher that bullying has occurred, he/she will keep appropriate written records which will assist his/her efforts to resolve the issues and restore, as far as practicable, the relationships of the parties involved.
The relevant teacher will use the appropriate template to record the bullying behaviour. This form will be passed to the Principal. In cases where bullying has been resolved the template form will serve as a summary of the investigation. However, where appropriate, additional notes and details will be attached to the form to retain on file, particularly in cases where the bullying was not resolved within 20 days of the initial investigation. It should also be noted that the timeline for recording bullying behaviour in this recording template does not in any way preclude the relevant teacher from consulting the Principal or Deputy Principal at an earlier stage in relation to a case.

3.Code of Behaviour/Referral to Outside Agencies
Bullying behaviour can be part of a continuum of behaviour rather than a stand- alone issue and in some cases behaviour may escalate beyond that which can be described as bullying to serious physical or sexual assault or harassment. Accordingly instances of bullying will be dealt with in tandem with the school’s overall code of behaviour. In cases where a school has serious concerns in relation to managing the behaviour of a pupil, the advice of the National Education Psychological Service (NEPS) will be sought.
Serious instances of bullying behaviour will, in accordance with the Children First and the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools, be referred to the HSE Children and Family Services and/or Gardaí as appropriate.
Where school personnel have concerns about a child but are not sure whether to report the matter to the HSE, the Designated Liaison Person will seek advice from the HSE Children and Family Social Services.


7. The school’s programme of support for working with pupils affected by bullying is as follows:
Provide opportunities to participate in activities designed to raise their self-esteem, to develop their friendship and social skills and thereby build resilience (as per SPHE programme).
Encourage friendship and small-group team-building exercises focussed on affected students.
Close monitoring of pupils (those bullying and those being bullied) on yard in the weeks following the incident of bullying.
Follow up meetings with students on an ongoing basis following any incident of bullying.
Learning strategies within the school to allow for the enhancement of the pupil’s self-worth.
Pupils who observe incidents of bullying behaviour will be encouraged to discuss them with teachers.
8. Supervision and Monitoring of Pupils
The Board of Management confirms that appropriate supervision and monitoring policies and practices are in place to both prevent and deal with bullying behaviour and to facilitate early intervention where possible.



9. Prevention of Harassment

The Board of Management confirms that the school will, in accordance with its obligations under equality legislation, take all such steps that are reasonably practicable to prevent the sexual harassment of pupils or staff or the harassment of pupils or staff on any of the nine grounds specified i.e. gender including transgender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller community.

10. This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on 17 June 2014.

11. This policy has been made available to school personnel, published on the school website (or where none exists, is otherwise readily accessible to parents and pupils on request) and provided to the Parents’ Association (where one exists). A copy of this policy will be made available to the Department and the patron if requested.

12. This policy and its implementation will be reviewed by the Board of Management once in every school year. Written notification that the review has been completed will be made available to school personnel, published on the school website (or where none exists, be otherwise readily accessible to parents and pupils on request) and provided to the Parents’ Association (where one exists). A record of the review and its outcome will be made available, if requested, to the patron and the Department.




Signed: Pat Murray (Chairperson of Board of Management)

Signed: Brian Kenny (Principal)


Date: 17 June 2014


Date of next review: June 2015

















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